The Northern Echo suggested earlier that Papiss Cisse wasn’t given permission to join Senegal’s Olympic squad due to fitness concerns.
Apparently it is felt that by Cisse spending time away with his national team over the summer, that the striker may not be fit enough for the start of our own campaign.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t be concerned about it but with Papiss Cisse it seems different. I don’t know whether he is still getting acclimatised to life in the Premier League or whether there is genuine concern for his fitness, but I distinctly remember numerous occasions at the back end of last season where he cramped up at the end of games or ended up being substituted.
Of course when you look at his goal return you might wonder what the problem is, or even if there is one, but imagine what he could do if his fitness was carefully managed and made sure that he functions at his best every week, for the full 90 minutes. That won’t happen though if he isn’t at Newcastle United with our bodies looking after him.
Hopefully after a full pre-season for us we’ll see a better Papiss Cisse who can contribute for the full 90 minutes without feeling any effects such as cramp. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before it comes and he becomes more familiar with the pace and intensity the Premier League requires, but until then should we be looking to nurse him through pre-season to make sure he can hit the ground running in August?